Doesn't having CIN and IND not being at a bad time of day (a worthwhile concept) mean having the terminal cities at bad times of day, almost by logical necessity? Jus' askin'.
Yes, well sort of. The other constraint is whether the Cardinal will continue to connect to trains departing for other destination at Chicago on the same day. If you break connections and make Cardinal a dead ender train at Chicago then you can manage to keep the end points at reasonable times and make CIN and IND almost reasonable.
But since the network effect is a major factor in the success of a system like the LD system there is much opposition to the idea of breaking connections in Chicago.
Chicago does have these things called "hotels".
That said, the real problems with the Cardinal are more basic: it's running less than once a day. The west end has terribly slow track and a mass of different host railroads to slow it down. The east end has an undermaintained shortline. The middle is low-population and threatened with downgrades by CSX as the coal business ends; and as long as the coal business is going, the tracks there won't get any faster.
Low potential... but it would still break even if it were daily, which it isn't.